Canadian Pro-Life Advocates Work To Defeat Assisted Suicide Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 27, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canadian Pro-Life Advocates Work To Defeat Assisted Suicide Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 27, 2005

Ottawa, Canada ( — Canadian pro-life advocates are beginning concerted campaigns to defeat a measure in the nation’s Parliament that would legalize assisted suicide. From Catholic officials to disability activists, groups and people are coming together to oppose the proposal.

On Monday, disability activist Mark Pickup met with members of Parliament for a luncheon and told them that any attempt to legalize euthanasia represents blatant discrimination against disabled people.

Pickup, who lives with multiple sclerosis, said few people talk about pursuing assisted suicide for people without disabilities or terminal diseases.

"Only when we talk about disability, do we talk about the right for self-determination," he told 30 people representing the government, including a dozen MPs and staff for others.

Peter Wong, state deputy for the Alberta/NWT Knights of Columbus has sent a letter to every member of Parliament urging them to oppose the legislation, Bill C-407, according to the Western Catholic Reporter.

Wong said the Knights "are of the opinion our legal system should be inspired by a culture of life in which each person feels responsible for the well being of others until their natural deaths."

"The stance of the Knights of Columbus is to preserve life and respect life. This issue is a modification of the criminal code that would allow for what is being called ‘dying with dignity,’" he said. "But people have the right to define what dignity is. To me, and our membership, life is life and we have to respect it."

Wong also encouraged the 15,000 members of the Alberta/NWT council of the Knights to write as well. He said he’s already heard from one member, Conservative MP Rick Casson, who plans to oppose the bill.

Meanwhile, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has set up a new web site to help defeat the measure and it’s located at

Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde previously tabled the bill, which is expected to come up again for a debate on Monday.